Before setting camp in my “Caught With My Pants Down” Jasper mid-November trip, I stopped off at the 6th bridge on the Maligne lake Road and hiked upstream along the Maligne River. The snow had not fallen yet and I found a little spot where I played around with a circular polarizing filter to capture some flowing river details and abstracts.
Polarizing filters absorb light perpendicular to the reflected light thus reducing glare by only allowing “polarized” light to pass through. Without getting into the science behind polarized light, polarizing filters essentially help remove unwanted glare from reflective surfaces such as water or glass and can make wet leaves and rocks less shiny while slightly increasing saturation and contrast to give your image that extra little “pop”. In my case at the Maligne River, changing the position of my polarizer resulted in varying degrees of the amount of reflected light from the river to pass through the lens making for some interesting and abstract images. Pools of water along the river also provided good opportunities for some rock and river scenics.
Snow fell throughout the night and I crawled out of my tent to a beautiful soft white blanket of snow. Just a few feet away from my tent I noticed fresh wolf prints to which I wondered if it was the same wolf who casually “greeted” me as I arrived at my campsite the day before. Having surveyed the trail the day before, I decided a snow covered second hike along the Maligne River was in order.
With the dark rocks and the bright fresh snow, capturing a proper single expose was tricky. A perfect opportunity to try out some HDR or High Dynamic Range images. Again, without getting too technical, high dynamic range refers to the range of brightness levels that exist in a particular scene. When this range goes from clipped blacks to blown out highlights in one exposure, we can combine two or more images of varying degrees of exposure into a single image to capture all details from the darkest area to the brightest in a particular scene. In the image above and below, I used Nik HDR Efex Pro to “blend” two separate exposures. One to capture detail in the bright snow and another for the detail in the darker areas of the scene. The images were finished off with minor adjustments to contrast using Nik Color Efex Pro.
You may view a larger image by clicking on any image. Additional images from this series may also be viewed in the New Images Gallery.
Until next time…